When patients are given access to evidence-based decision aids, such as informational pamphlets or DVDs, their rates of certain elective surgeries appear to drop, according to a study from the Seattle-based Group Health Research Institute.
Over the course of 18 months, Group Health researchers analyzed data from patients with knee or hip osteoarthritis who received decision aids as a standard course of care. They contrasted those patients' treatments and outcomes with those of another set of patients, treated during an earlier 18-month period, who did not receive such aids.
"We found that implementing high-quality, video-based decision aids for knee and hip osteoarthritis in a large, multisite orthopedic group practice setting was associated with a 38% reduction in the 180-day rate of elective knee replacement surgery," the authors wrote in the study, which appeared in the September issue of Health Affairs. The 180-day hip replacement surgery rate also fell by 26%, they added.